Loyal readers, if you think this looks like three happy men doing a drug deal, you are wrong. This is three happy men doing a boat deal! Andrew is now the proud owner of S/V ‘we don’t know yet’ and he is a mighty happy young man. After everyone’s prayers, good wishes, crossed fingers with spitting, and walking widdershins, Andrew awoke this morning to a phone call from Steve, the boat’s previous owner. Apparently the man who had been thinking of buying this little 1976 Ericson 25 doesn’t yet know how to sail and though he obviously knew a good deal when he saw it, he was really on the fence about buying. So that allowed Steve to encourage the man to take sailing lessons, and then to sell this boat to Andrew with a relieved conscience, knowing he was doing the right thing by all parties. You have to admire a man like that, for sure.
The atmosphere was one of jubilation and celebration as we drove out to the marina to make the deal. Frankly, this was the men’s day. I was an unnecessary accessory. Oh, except I wrote the check. There is that little detail. But if I sound sullen about this, I’m not at all. The men all bonded over the engine and the meticulous notebook of boat information. After hearing words like ‘fuel mix’, ‘battery’, and ‘choke’ my mind began to wander and their voices faded into the distance. I began to take photos, explore the boat, and admire the men at their best. Believe me when I say I enjoy watching men do manly things.
This is the cleanest little boat you can imagine, both inside and out! It’s hard to believe this boat was built the year I graduated from high school. Steve said the original owner had it in fresh water. It’s only been in salt water for a few years. Maybe that has something to do with how completely turn-key it is. Did I mention that the previous owner is a retired Navy officer? Well, the owner before him was a Navy commander. ‘Ship shape’ is a term which accurately describes everything about this boat. Unlike all the other boats we looked at, there is absolutely nothing that has to be done to this boat before Andrew can begin enjoying it.
Things to love about this boat start with the centerboard, which allows the boat to be beached onto the mud (just like the twin keel of the Westerly Nomad would have done). The benefit here is the money savings in terms of having the boat hauled out to clean the bottom. Cool! Also, the roller furling is very cool. Not only does this boat HAVE furling on the jib, but it’s a kind we’ve not seen before. The furling unit is integral to the sail, allowing the forestay to be available for another head sail. Andrew can drop the jib and hank on a storm sail if necessary, or fly two head sails wing on wing. The rig is pretty standard with the traveler on the cabin top and the jib sheets within easy reach of the helmsman. This boat should be easy to sail.
In addition, the centerboard allows this boat to be trailerable. I believe it is the largest boat that is considered a trailor sailor. We can store this boat at home in the winter if we get a trailer for it. We will think about that later.
The original 1976 upholstery is in excellent condition, and is actually attractive! This settee easily, in 30 seconds, converts to a double berth. Fantastic! Yellow pillows and a bright blanket will make this cabin feel like home. And take a look below at the table. It, too, is mulifunctional. Set it up for one person, or extend it for two or more. The V berth is perfect for one person, and plenty long enough. The cushions are in excellent condition throughout the boat. I don’t even need to clean them!
Another amenity is the fully enclosed marine head with holding tank. Not many small boats can boast this and it’s one of the things we loved about the Westerlies. Andrew was pretty set on having this on the boat, especially after I mentioned in passing that most girls do not appreciate having to use a porta pottie. Sometimes he DOES listen to me!
The galley is small. There is a small sink covered with a cutting board, and an icebox. There is no stove, but we have a nice Coleman white gas stove that will serve just fine. Other amenities include a good sized hanging locker, nice lazerettes, and a nice complement of sails. We will have to find a light air sail for him, but all in good time. The only down side to the boat is the engine is a bit of a gas hog at 3 gallons/hour. That’s going to add up fast, so maybe we better rethink finding the light air sail sooner rather than later.
In terms of electronics, this boat has a stereo system, a VHF radio that looks like new, and a Garmin fish finder. They all work perfectly. What more does a guy need? We have a handheld GPS that will work fine, and he has a Samsung Galaxy tablet computer that he can use to download marine charts, etc. Sweet! There is even a navigation area below, with storage!
After doing the boat deal for Andrew, we left him on his new baby to bond with it and traveled up to Poulsbo to look at a Cal 39 that just came on the market. During our visit in Poulsbo we discovered just how dangerous it’s going to be for Andrew to have a boat of his own. We came across this place:
It’s a marine exchange, which means it sells second hand marine goods.
We left 40$ poorer, but Andrew now has a hiking stick for his tiller. We bypassed the little gimbaled brass lanterns for 44$ each rather than 100$ each. They would have looked extra salty on his teak bulkheads, but we have to draw the line somewhere!